Unified scalable framework for online gaming
Today, on-line multi-user games need broadband network transmission and massively parallel, brute force computing servers. The OLGA project exploits scalability at the level of content, platforms and networks, possibly scaling down the content, network and processing load to the distributive resources available over the end-to-end delivery chain. The technology developed within OLGA can be used for applications that typically use heterogeneous environments. The mission statement for OLGA is thus: to provide a unified framework to develop scalable 3D game content enabling roaming of games on a variety of terminals and networks. The technical key objective needed to fulfil this mission statement is to enable interoperable adaptation and transcoding of 3D gaming content, including complex and structured objects such as virtual characters (humanoids), over heterogeneous networks and cost-constrained devices. To assess the results of the project an on-line, multi-player game was developed and gradually upgraded during the lifetime of the project. Progressive improvements of its characteristics (game functionality, content richness, 4D content transmission, number of players, user requirements, etc.) and its applicability in varying system conditions (single server, grid computing, distributive network, etc.) enlarges the search space for the optimal system configuration settings. The validation of the technology will be done in a public on-line environment typical for multi-player games. Although this on-line game has been chosen to validate the technology, the OLGA Framework is sufficiently generic in order to be applicable for other application domains, such as e-learning and e-health. Users are able to use (3D) content interactively, anywhere and at anytime.